Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gov Jerry Brown fails to appoint any Latinos to the LA County Superior Court

     SACRAMENTO, CA -- In his continuing tradition of not appointing Latinos to his administration, Gov. Jerry Brown did not appoint any Latinos to the six judge vacancies he filled on July 12, 2013 for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Here is the official announcement:  http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18144

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Study: Elderly Hispanics and Blacks on cusp of poverty

Census Bureau developed the Supplemental Poverty Measure to get a more comprehensive appraisal of family income and expenses.
Economic Policy Institute Briefing

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The majority of elderly blacks and Hispanics are economically vulnerable, at 63.5 percent and 70.1, respectively, a new Economic Policy Institute briefing paper finds. In Financial security of elderly Americans at risk: Proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare could make the majority of seniors ‘economically vulnerable,’ Elise Gould, EPI director of health policy research, and David Cooper, EPI economic analyst, explain that because official poverty statistics do not account for seniors’ increased health costs, they mask the true vulnerability of the elderly population. Using a more comprehensive assessment of seniors’ living expenses, they find that nearly half of America’s seniors, especially minorities and women, are just one bad economic shock away from falling into poverty. As such, any proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare must be evaluated not just for their impact on future budget deficits, but for their impact on living standards of the elderly.

“After working hard their entire lives, millions of our elderly are struggling to pay for basic needs like food, medicine and housing, even with Social Security and Medicare,” said the report’s co-author Elise Gould. “As such, policymakers should consider the dire consequences proposals to restructure these programs would have on our parents and grandparents, shifting more costs unto them when many are already barely making ends meet.”

Researchers and public officials have long recognized that the official federal poverty line does not reflect families’ real living expenses. Because of this, the Census Bureau developed the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a poverty metric that takes a more comprehensive appraisal of both a family’s expenses—accounting for regional differences in prices— and available resources, including government assistance programs. However, even this improved measure still only calculates income necessary for the most basic level of subsistence, and because it is designed to reflect the needs of the average American, it does not address the unique needs of elderly Americans. As such, the authors use the Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index), an income standard developed specifically for the elderly by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) to determine what level of income represents actual economic security for elderly Americans. They find that elderly “economic vulnerability” can be defined by having an income less than 2.0 times the SPM threshold. Under this more appropriate threshold of economic security, the authors find that 48.0 percent of the seniors live with dangerously low levels of income, varying considerably across different groups of elderly Americans.

Comparing the elderly by age group—65 to 79 years old versus 80 years old and older—shows that the older elderly have a far higher rate of economic vulnerability (58.1 percent) than people age 65 to 79 (44.4 percent). At 52.6 percent, elderly women are more likely to be economically insecure than men (41.9 percent). Meanwhile, though blacks and Hispanics constitute just 15.4 percent of the elderly population, they comprise over one-fifth (21.9 percent) of the vulnerable elderly, at 63.5 percent and 70.1 percent, respectively. Lastly, the share of vulnerable elderly varies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from a low of 35.4 percent in North Dakota to a high of 59 percent in the District of Columbia. Not surprisingly, states with large minority populations—like the District of Columbia and California (55.8 percent)—tend to have the highest levels of elderly vulnerability. Hawaii, Georgia, Tennessee, and New York each have at least 52 percent of seniors living below two times the supplemental poverty line. North Dakota (35.4 percent), South Dakota (37.2 percent), Nebraska (40.5 percent), and Wisconsin (40.6 percent) have the lowest shares of vulnerable elderly.

Because lower-income elderly households depend heavily on social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, changes to these programs should be viewed through the lens of how they would affect economically vulnerable seniors. From 2009 to 2011, medical out-of-pocket costs equaled 30.1 percent of elderly families total cash income, on average, or about 14 percent of total family income. Proposals to shift additional health costs onto seniors, such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare into a voucher system, would drive more seniors into poverty. Under Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicare, the predicted increase in seniors’ out-of-pocket health costs would raise the share of economically vulnerable elderly from 48.0 percent to 56.4 percent, an increase of almost 3.5 million more vulnerable seniors. Similarly, proposals to change the calculation of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to Social Security to a chained consumer price index (CPI) would result in 132,000 more economically vulnerable seniors.

“We can dispel the myth that most seniors are ‘greedy geezers’ with lavish retirements. Almost half are either in poverty or close to it,” said Cooper. “We shouldn’t be cutting the benefits that are barely adequate as is, effectively legislating more of them into poverty.”


Monday, May 27, 2013

For some Latinos, serving the military wasn't enough

“damn ...couldn’t help but to break down and cry...
This time its tears of Joy...
Even though I don’t have my ‘lil “chikiboo...”
She’s just the most precious ‘lil girl and she loves me...regardless of who I am or where I am...
It feels good...
Spc B Deported..Man there ain’t no Love better than a child’s love...” - Hector Barajas, US Army 82nd Airborne Spc. - deported
From Banashed Veterans

Hector Barajas, US Army 82nd Airborne Spc.
Hector Barajas, served the US Army 82nd Airborne Spc.  He was a legal permanent resident at the
time and proudly served from November 1995 to November 2001.  During his service, he received two honorable discharges and two AAM´s (Army Achievement Medal),  a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Army Service Medal and Humanitarian Medal.  He proudly served with the 407th Golden Griffins C Co, ·307th FSB Renegades C Co., WBAMC.

Shortly after his discharge from the military he got in trouble with the law, served time, but during his incarceration he received multiple diplomas and most of all, a rehabilitation.

Upon his release Hector had an immigration hold, a legal process to deport him. He could not believe the country he had proudly served would turn his back on him.

In a very short time, Hector was chained and flown to Arizona by the US Marshals, without any legal help and no one to turn to. During his quick hearing, Hector represented himself to no avail.  He was deported in 2003 to a land he didn't know, speaking a language he felt was foreign.

For six months Hector appealed his case, arguing he was a US National and that he could not be deported because of his military oath and permanent allegiance to the United States. The judge thanked Hector for his service, explained that if the country was in conflict status or if Hector was a combat veteran, things would be different, but that was not the case and ordered him to be deported.

Today, Hector writes about his life in a foreign land on his facebook page and shares his torment and tears of missing his daughter and his country.

Regardless of status, many US military veterans, including combat veterans, are facing what Hector Barajas has been fighting over the last decade, the unjust deportation of someone who was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

To many veterans, the US government denies their claims of being a National or an American, even though they have proudly worn a uniform of the United States military.

Today, Hector knows that while he served in the military, there was never a distinction of where he was born and where his heart was at. He still believes in this country and proudly states he is a US Veteran. No matter where he goes he shares "I will always be a United States Veteran."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

33.7 Million Hispanics of Mexican origin in U.S.

Mexican origin Hispanics account for 64% of Latinos in U.S.

Image by Hispanic Link
WASHINGTON D.C. -- A record 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin resided in the United States in 2012, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center. This estimate includes 11.4 million immigrants born in Mexico and 22.3 million born in the U.S. who self-identify as Hispanics of Mexican origin.

Mexicans are by far the largest Hispanic-origin population in the U.S., accounting for nearly two-thirds (64%) of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2012. Hispanics of Mexican origin are also a significant portion of the U.S. population, accounting for 11% overall.

The size of the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. has risen dramatically over the past four decades as a result of one of the largest mass migrations in modern history. In 1970, fewer than one million Mexican immigrants lived in the U.S. By 2007 it reached a peak of 12.5 million. Since then, it has declined as the arrival of new Mexican immigrants has slowed significantly. Today, 35% of Hispanics of Mexican origin were born in Mexico. And while the remaining two-thirds (65%) were born in the U.S., 52% of them have at least one immigrant parent.

Before the 1980s, growth in the nation's Mexican-origin population came mostly from Hispanics of Mexican origin born in the U.S. However, from 1980 to 2000, more growth in the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. could be attributed to the arrival of Mexican immigrants. That pattern reversed from 2000 to 2010 as births surpassed immigration as the main driver of population growth.

The 11.4 million Mexican immigrants who live in the U.S. make up the single largest country of origin group by far among the nation's 40 million immigrants. The next largest foreign-born population group, from greater China at 2 million, is less than one-fifth the size of the Mexican-born population in the U.S.

Mexican immigrants comprise by far the largest share of the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. More than half (55%) of the 11.1 million immigrants who are in the country illegally are from Mexico.

Internationally, the U.S. is far and away the top destination for immigrants from Mexico. Fully 96% of Mexicans who leave Mexico migrate to the U.S. Worldwide, nine percent of people born in Mexico live in the U.S. In addition, the U.S. has more immigrants from Mexico alone than any other country has immigrants.

The characteristics of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. have changed over the decades. Compared with 1990, Mexican immigrants in 2011 were less likely to be male, considerably older, better educated and have been in the U.S. for longer.

This report includes demographic, income and economic characteristics of the foreign-born and native-born Mexican-origin populations in the U.S. and compares them with the characteristics of all Hispanics. It covers immigration status, language, age, marital status, fertility, regional dispersion, educational attainment, income, poverty status, health insurance and homeownership.

The report, "A Demographic Portrait of Mexican-Origin Hispanics in the United States," was written by Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, research associate with the Pew Hispanic Center, and Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center. It is available at the Pew Research Center's website, www.pewresearch.org.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of data and analysis. It does not take advocacy positions. Its Hispanic Center, founded in 2001, seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

13th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference

Free event offers youth resources to prepare for college

DAVIS, CA – Close to 500 elementary, middle and high school students will converge on the Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Freeborn Hall at University of California, Davis in Davis, California. The conference will include an Arts, Education, Health and Job Fair. For over a decade, this event has provided guidance to youth seeking to pursue higher education and grant information.

This unique educational forum allows 6th to 12th grade students and their parents an opportunity to learn how to pursue secondary educational and grant opportunities. College recruiters will be available to answer student questions. There will also be information designed to empower families to become stronger advocates for their children's education.

The conference is open to people of all ages. It is scheduled from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the UC Davis – Freeborn Hall located at 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616. Approximately 700 students and 200 parents attended the 2012 conference. The event kicks off with registration and a chorizo burrito breakfast, pan dulce and hot chocolate.

From 12:30 pm to 2:55 pm, there will be a special program, “Embrace the Legacy of Cesar Chavez” lunchtime celebration and talent show. Performers include folkloric dancers, Aztec dancers, and trick roping cowboy and whip master James Barrera. There will also be carnita and vegetarian burritos for conference attendees to feast upon. There will also be a live theater presentation, "Nightmare on Puberty St." by the Kaiser Educational Theater Program. That presentation begins at 9:30 am.

The conference is free and pre-registration is not required but strongly recommended. Pre-registration is available by downloading conference information at http://www.hear2000.org. The conference was founded 11 years ago by Rene Aguilera, a Roseville City School District Board Trustee. Aguilera and his family continue to organize promote this free event to youth throughout Northern California, the Central Valley and the Bay Area.

The conference traditionally kicks off a series of Sacramento-area events related to California’s Cesar Chavez Holiday. Cesar Chavez was co-founder and president of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. He led the union from the 1960s to his death at age 66 in 1993. The UFW was instrumental in organizing farm workers in several states. In 2000, Governor Gray Davis signed SB 984, asking that school districts give an hour of instruction in all schools around Chavez's March 31 birthday.

The youth conference continues to recognize the UFW founder's lessons on non-violence, self-sacrifice and social justice. Students are encouraged to engage in some form of public service appropriate for their age and grade as part of the Cesar Chavez Day of Service of Learning.

“In times of recession, education is the key to building a road to a career,” said Aguilera. “That is why we provide this conference so that students and their families can discover scholarship, college and other educational services that are available to them. The Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference supplements what most school districts do on or around March 31 – his birthday and acts as a primer for learning. We ask parents, students, educators and business and community leaders to come out and volunteer their time to teach and learn from each other on both days.

“The overall goal of the conference is to help youths learn how to be community leaders; how to become involved; how to learn about social and political issues; and how to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school. Topics will include student financial aid, scholarships and career information including law, journalism, military, teaching, social welfare, art, music and dance, medicine, law enforcement and professional athletics and many others.”

Hosts include: the University of California, Davis; the Hispanic Empowerment Association of Roseville; and the California Latino School Boards Association.

For more information on the Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference, call Rene Aguilera at (916) 532-5998, or fax registration applications to H.E.A.R. at (916) 782-2040. Or students can take their completed application to their counselor and ask them to fax it. Visit the conference web site at www.hear2000.org.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Latinos online at similar or higher rates than other Americans

Digital divide between Latinos and Whites is smaller than a few years ago.
  
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Latinos own smartphones, go online from a mobile device and use social networking sites at similar, and sometimes higher, rates than do other groups of Americans, according to a new analysis of three Pew Research Center surveys.

The analysis also finds that when it comes to using the internet, the digital divide between Latinos and whites is smaller than what it had been just a few years ago. Between 2009 and 2012, the share of Latino adults who say they go online at least occasionally increased from 64% to 78%. Among whites, internet use rates also increased, but only by half as much (80% in 2009 to 87% in 2012).

Over the same period, the gap in cellphone ownership between Latinos and other groups either diminished or disappeared. In 2012, 86% of Latinos said they owned a cellphone, up from 76% in 2009.

Among the biggest drivers of these increases are spikes in technology adoption among foreign-born Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos. Both groups' rates of going online and of owning cellphones increased sharply since 2009, helping to reduce the digital divide between Latinos and whites and also reducing gaps within the Latino community itself.

This analysis, based on three national Pew Research Center surveys of more than 7,500 adults combined conducted between May and October of 2012, also finds:

Cellphone Ownership: Fully 86% of Latinos say they own a cellphone, a share similar to that of whites (84%) and blacks (90%). Among Latinos who do not own cellphones, 76% are foreign born and 24% are native born.

Smartphone Ownership: Among adults, Latinos (49%) are just as likely as whites (46%) or blacks (50%) to own a smartphone.

Going Online from a Mobile Device: Latino internet users are more likely than white internet users to say they go online using a mobile device (76% versus 60%). Black internet users are equally as likely as Latinos to access the internet from a mobile device.

Social Networking: Among internet users, similar shares of Latinos (68%), whites (66%) and blacks (69%) say they use social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook at least occasionally. Among Latinos who use social networking sites, 60% say they do so mostly or only in English, 29% say they do so mostly or only in Spanish and 11% say they use English and Spanish equally.

Computer Ownership: Some 72% of Latinos say they own a desktop or laptop computer, compared with 83% of whites. Among blacks, 70% are computer owners. Half of Hispanic computer owners are foreign born. By comparison, 73% of Hispanics who do not own a computer are foreign born.

Internet Use: Nearly eight-in-ten (78%) Latino adults go online at least occasionally, compared with 87% of whites and 78% of blacks. Half (50%) of Hispanic internet users are native born and half are foreign born.

The report, "Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption," was written by Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center; Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, research associate with the Pew Hispanic Center; and Eileen Patten, research assistant with the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project. It is available at the Pew Research Center's website, www.pewresearch.org.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of data and analysis. It does not take advocacy positions. Its Hispanic Center, founded in 2001, seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Latina to head the Federal Trade Commission


Edith Ramirez would be the first appointment of Latin decent to chair the FTC
Adrian Perez, Journal On Latino Americans

Edith Ramirez
Edith Ramirez has been named as Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the White House said on Thursday. Once President Barack Obama’s colleague at the Harvard Law Review, Ramirez, 44, is a lawyer specializing in business litigation and intellectual property in Los Angeles.

Fluent in Spanish and from Southern California, Ramirez’ appointment comes at the heals of national criticism of Obama by Latino groups for his lack of appointment of Latinos, especially after losing prominent Hispanic appointees Hilda Ortiz (Labor) and Ken Salazar (Interior). She was appointed as a Commissioner on the FTC in 2010.

Obama started his second term by appointing three White males in succession, which drew the criticism of several civil rights groups across the nation including the NAACP and several Democratic legislators.

“He still has several more appointments, and we expect that we’ll see at least the same diversity that we saw the first time around,” said Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP. “What we’re hoping to see is a black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Ramirez is considered a moderate Democrat an indicator the White House would rather have a centrist running the FTC to appease corporate concerns.

“We see this as a positive appointment,” says David Wales, an attorney and former antitrust official. “ We have heard and experienced her taking a very measured approach to enforcement.”

There are several key decisions the FTC will be making with Ramirez as Chair, like the proposed high-profile mergers of Office Depot Inc. with OfficeMax, Tesoro Corp's purchase of a BP refinery in gas-price sensitive California, and Tempur-Pedic's proposed purchase of mattress rival Scaley Corp.

Ramirez replaces Jon Leibowitz as the head of the FTC, which works to protect consumers from unfair business practices and maintain competition in the marketplace.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, the new chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, praised Ramirez as a "highly respected FTC commissioner."

"I look forward to working with Commissioner Ramirez to protect consumers and promote competition, and I am confident she will be a great partner in these efforts," she said in a statement.

Ramirez’ appointment does not require Senate confirmation.